Literature Paul Ferris Dylan Thomas

ISBN 13: 9780140047738

Dylan Thomas

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9780140047738: Dylan Thomas

Covering the whole range of Dylan Thomas’s writing both poetry and prose Walford Davies’s Dylan Thomas is an accessible appraisal of the work and achievement of this major and dynamic poet. Davies analyzes Thomas and his work in light of his Welsh background, while simultaneously illustrating Thomas’s wide knowledge of and impact on the long and varied tradition of poetry in English. In that connection, Davies delineates and delimits Thomas’s relationship to surrealism, compares and contrasts his work with that of other poets of the 1930s and ’40s, and shows how the power of his writing survives to this day, long after his untimely death in 1953. This new edition offers an updated bibliography and Davies’s own commentary on the previous edition.

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Review:

This new edition of Paul Ferris's perceptive biography, which was originally published in 1977, is primarily notable for its frank portrait of the poet's marriage to Caitlin Macnamara Thomas, who died in 1994. "The essential truth about the Dylan-Caitlin relationship," Ferris writes, "was that his dependent nature left him vulnerable in later years when his wife withdrew her affection and became blatantly promiscuous." Yet the author is not unsympathetic to Caitlin, whose biography he wrote in 1993. The accounts of Thomas's raucous, drunken visits to America, where he died in 1953 at age 39, will certainly incline readers to forgive anything his wife did in revenge. The book's principal strengths remain what they were in 1977: a knowledgeable, in-depth account of the poet's childhood in Wales (Ferris himself was born a mile from Thomas's childhood home); a lucid disentangling of myth from fact in both interviews and contemporary sources; and a sensitive understanding that "behind the public cavortings was a private agony." This is Ferris's real subject, the agony of a boy who was "pretty ... spoiled ... the darling of the family," and who never managed to grow up enough to create a life that would support his poetic gifts. It's a sad story but a fascinating one. --Wendy Smith

About the Author:

Walford Davies is a leading authority on Dylan Thomas. He is the author or editor of numerous works on and by Thomas, including The Collected Stories of Dylan Thomas and Under Milk Wood. He lives in Aberystwyth, Wales.

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Paul Ferris
Published by Penguin Books (1979)
ISBN 10: 0140047735 ISBN 13: 9780140047738
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Book Description Penguin Books, 1979. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140047735

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